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MGCC MG Trophy Championship - End of Season Review - Chris Bray
2014 saw Chris Bray embarking on his 8th full season of racing in the MG Trophy Championship. Rounds 1&2 at Brands Hatch saw a strong start for Chris, securing pole for both races. A good start in Race 1 gave Chris the edge and despite a number of challenges from Paul Luti he held onto the lead until lap 13 where Luti briefly got ahead, Chris retook the lead at Druids and continued on to win the race. A slight hesitation at the start of Race 2 allowed Ross Makar to pull ahead, however, by the end of Lap 1 Chris had regained the lead, Luti was hot on his tail managing to get ahead of Chris until Lap 8 when he had to retire with a puncture, this put Chris back to P1 which he held until the chequered flag.
Rounds 3&4 were held at Silverstone. Qualifying was a fierce competition for grid positions with the four fastest drivers separated by less than a second, Chris managed to secure P3 for both races. Race 1 was action-packed from the moment the lights went out – Chris settled into P4 until lap 2 where he passed Ross, he held P3 until lap 5 where he passed Luti at Copse. Chris plied on the pressure and eventually finished the race in P2 just 0.646s behind Robertson. A better start in Race 2 saw Chris move into P2 which he held until Lap 6 when Ross edged ahead. Chris spent the remainder of the race battling hard with Ross eventually finishing in P3 just 0.15s behind P2.
Rounds 5&6 took the Trophy Championship north of the boarder to Knockhill. Set-up problems for Chris saw him off the pace of the leading pack, qualifying in P4 for both races. In Race 1 he struggled to match the pace of the leading cars, eventually finishing in 6th. A few set-up tweaks including a change to his front springs saw a more promising start to Race 2 with Chris holding onto P4 for the entirety of the race.
After power and set-up problems at Knockhill, Chris and the team made a few changes to the car ready for rounds 7&8 at Donington, this was reflected in P1 qualifying for both races. Race 1 started well and Chris quickly pulled away from Robertson and Luti. Luti worked hard to close the gap and an incident with a back marker on lap 10 allowed Luti to pass Chris, Chris then passed Luti on lap 11 with Luti repassing him on lap 12. Chris finished the race in P2 just 0.294s behind Luti. Chris led Race 2 for the first two laps when the race was red flagged, the restart didn’t go as smoothly for him and he settled into P2 until lap 9 where Makar managed to pass him, Chris finished the race in P3 just 0.016s behind Makar.
Rounds 9&10 held at Oulton Park saw Chris struggling again with a car that seemed to be off the pace, a disappointing qualifying session put him in P7 for Race 1 and P8 for Race2. Race 1 was red flagged on lap 4 – by the end of lap 1 of the restarted race Chris had made his way up to P5. An off at Avenue put him back to P6 until the last lap where he moved into P4, he also took fastest lap of the race with a time of 1.57.989. Race 2 saw Chris charge up the pack, making up 2 places in lap 1 and moving into P4 by lap 6. He passed Luti at Knickerbrook and spent the remainder of the race battling with Robertson. As they approached the line a tap from Luti pushed Chris ahead and he finished in P2 0.001s ahead of Robertson. Chris took fastest lap of the race with a time of 1.57.368 and was awarded Driver of the Race.
The final two rounds of the Championship were at Snetterton, points were tight with the top 6 drivers, including Chris, all still in with a chance of taking the Championship. After qualifying P1 for both races Chris got a good start in Race 1, he held onto the lead for the entire race and secured a comfortable win. Lap 1 of Race 2 saw Chris lose P1 to Luti, on lap 6 Makar made the move on Chris to take P2, Chris finished the race in P3 but a penalty for Makar saw Chris moved up to P2. These two race results were enough to secure Chris enough points to take his 3rd MG Trophy title – making him the first driver to win the title more than twice!